Michigan Prosecutors Pushing for 10 Years Minimum for Parents in School Shooting Case

Pontiac, Michigan – Prosecutors in Michigan are advocating for a minimum of 10 years in prison for two parents who are the first in the United States to be criminally liable for a school shooting. Jennifer and James Crumbley, parents of the shooter Ethan Crumbley, were found guilty of involuntary manslaughter in separate trials earlier this year. Prosecutors alleged that their negligence led to the tragic deaths of four students at Oxford High School in 2021. Despite not being aware of their son’s plan, the Crumbleys were accused of failing to secure a gun at home and disregarding his mental health.

The maximum sentence for involuntary manslaughter is 15 years, with the judge’s minimum sentence set to be pivotal as the Crumbleys could be eligible for parole consideration after that time. Both Jennifer, 46, and James, 47, are seeking alternative sentences, with Jennifer hoping for an electronic tether and James hoping for release. However, the prosecutors argue that such lenient sentences would not adequately reflect the severity of the tragedy caused by the defendants’ gross negligence.

On the day of the shooting, the Crumbleys were called to the school after Ethan drew concerning images. Instead of taking him home, they left with mental health service contacts and returned to work. Hours later, Ethan, then 15, carried out the shooting using a handgun his father had recently purchased, which closely resembled the gun in the drawing. Ethan, now 17, is currently serving a life sentence without the possibility of parole after pleading guilty to murder and terrorism.

During James Crumbley’s trial, he was banned from using a phone and tablet in jail due to making threats towards the county prosecutor. The suburb sheriff’s department revealed that the threats were profane and directed at the elected county prosecutor, Karen McDonald.

The trial has brought attention to the responsibility of parents in preventing school shootings, highlighting the need for secure gun storage and mental health awareness. As the sentencing approaches, the outcome will not only determine the Crumbleys’ fate but also set a precedent for holding parents accountable for their children’s actions leading to serious consequences.